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According to research done by Professor Dean Snow, an anthropologist from Pennsylvania State University, using a specific set of formulas based off of the hands of modern men, and women has allowed him to determine that the majority, around 75%, of the painted handprints in European caves can be attributed to women. Interestingly, it was also found that while today, the sizes of men's, and women's hands overlap too much for the formulas to be completely reliable, the hands determined to be male, and female from the cave paintings were either at, or beyond the extremes of their counterparts today. Females of the time were, by the formula, indistinguishable in hand size from adolescent males, with fairly small hands, and the only factors differentiating between the two being the digit ratio. Adult men on the other hand had exceptionally large hands, with exaggerated features compared to modern adult men, whose hands are also smaller. It was always assumed that all of the paintings were done by men, due to the majority of paintings being hunting scenes, and depicting explicitly male individuals, but this shows that at least a majority of the handprint paintings were of women.
Contributed by Sean Gay